Education Act Kenya: Amid efforts to realign the education sector with the Constitution,the government enacted the Basic Education Act 2013. The new legislation restructured management of education in the country and more importantly anchored free and compulsory primary education into law. It also laid heavy penalties and punishment for parents and other defaulters who would negate rights of children to access education.
Education Act Kenya : The Basic Education Act, 2013
The Basic Education Act, 2013 crafted the following measures:-
- Created the National Education Board
- Established County Education Boards
- Empowered the Cabinet Secretary to implement the constitutional right of every child to free and compulsory basic education.
The Kenya Education Act states that no public school shall charge or cause any parent or, guardian to pay tuition fees for or on behalf of any pupil in the school.
However, tuition fees may be payable by persons who are not Kenyan citizens.
Education Act Kenya – Compulsory Education
Every parent whose child is a Kenyan or resides in Kenya is required by law to ensure that the child attends school regularly. A parent who fails to take his or her child to school as required under the law commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand shillings or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.
Other provisions in the Kenya Education Act include:
- No child shall be denied admission in a school or basic education institution for lack of proof of age.
- A school or person responsible for admission shall not discriminate against any child seeking admission on any ground, including ethnicity, gender, sex, religion,race, colour or social origin, age, disability, language or culture.
- No public school shall administer any test related to admission of a child to a public school or cause a person to administer such test unless such a test is for purposes of placing the child at an appropriate level of education.
- A parent of a child who has been denied admission to a public school may notify the County Education Board of the decision and only the Cabinet Secretary has the authority to prescribe criteria for the admission to a public school.
- No pupil admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school. Only the Cabinet Secretary has power to prescribe expulsion or the
discipline of a delinquent pupil for whom all other corrective measures have been exhausted and only after such child and parent or guardian have been afforded an opportunity of being heard.
- No pupil shall be subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in any manner, whether physical or psychological and any person convicted of having contravened that section shall be liable to a ﬁne not exceeding Kshs 100, 000 or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.
The law also outlaws holiday tuition and any person who contravenes the section will be liable to a fine not exceeding Kshs 100,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both. It also outlaws employment of a child or engaging in any labour or occupation that prevents the child from attending school.